ES2402881T3 - Minimally invasive heart valve with valve positioners - Google Patents

Minimally invasive heart valve with valve positioners Download PDF

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Publication number
ES2402881T3
ES2402881T3 ES10164361T ES10164361T ES2402881T3 ES 2402881 T3 ES2402881 T3 ES 2402881T3 ES 10164361 T ES10164361 T ES 10164361T ES 10164361 T ES10164361 T ES 10164361T ES 2402881 T3 ES2402881 T3 ES 2402881T3
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Prior art keywords
valve
fin
prosthetic heart
commissure
heart valve
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Spanish (es)
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Mario M Iobbi
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Edwards Lifesciences Corp
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Edwards Lifesciences Corp
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Priority to US10/390,951 priority patent/US7399315B2/en
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Classifications

    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61FFILTERS IMPLANTABLE INTO BLOOD VESSELS; PROSTHESES; DEVICES PROVIDING PATENCY TO, OR PREVENTING COLLAPSING OF, TUBULAR STRUCTURES OF THE BODY, e.g. STENTS; ORTHOPAEDIC, NURSING OR CONTRACEPTIVE DEVICES; FOMENTATION; TREATMENT OR PROTECTION OF EYES OR EARS; BANDAGES, DRESSINGS OR ABSORBENT PADS; FIRST-AID KITS
    • A61F2/00Filters implantable into blood vessels; Prostheses, i.e. artificial substitutes or replacements for parts of the body; Appliances for connecting them with the body; Devices providing patency to, or preventing collapsing of, tubular structures of the body, e.g. stents
    • A61F2/02Prostheses implantable into the body
    • A61F2/24Heart valves ; Vascular valves, e.g. venous valves; Heart implants, e.g. passive devices for improving the function of the native valve or the heart muscle; Transmyocardial revascularisation [TMR] devices
    • A61F2/2427Devices for manipulating or deploying heart valves during implantation
    • A61F2/243Deployment by mechanical expansion
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61FFILTERS IMPLANTABLE INTO BLOOD VESSELS; PROSTHESES; DEVICES PROVIDING PATENCY TO, OR PREVENTING COLLAPSING OF, TUBULAR STRUCTURES OF THE BODY, e.g. STENTS; ORTHOPAEDIC, NURSING OR CONTRACEPTIVE DEVICES; FOMENTATION; TREATMENT OR PROTECTION OF EYES OR EARS; BANDAGES, DRESSINGS OR ABSORBENT PADS; FIRST-AID KITS
    • A61F2/00Filters implantable into blood vessels; Prostheses, i.e. artificial substitutes or replacements for parts of the body; Appliances for connecting them with the body; Devices providing patency to, or preventing collapsing of, tubular structures of the body, e.g. stents
    • A61F2/02Prostheses implantable into the body
    • A61F2/24Heart valves ; Vascular valves, e.g. venous valves; Heart implants, e.g. passive devices for improving the function of the native valve or the heart muscle; Transmyocardial revascularisation [TMR] devices
    • A61F2/2412Heart valves ; Vascular valves, e.g. venous valves; Heart implants, e.g. passive devices for improving the function of the native valve or the heart muscle; Transmyocardial revascularisation [TMR] devices with soft flexible valve members, e.g. tissue valves shaped like natural valves
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61FFILTERS IMPLANTABLE INTO BLOOD VESSELS; PROSTHESES; DEVICES PROVIDING PATENCY TO, OR PREVENTING COLLAPSING OF, TUBULAR STRUCTURES OF THE BODY, e.g. STENTS; ORTHOPAEDIC, NURSING OR CONTRACEPTIVE DEVICES; FOMENTATION; TREATMENT OR PROTECTION OF EYES OR EARS; BANDAGES, DRESSINGS OR ABSORBENT PADS; FIRST-AID KITS
    • A61F2/00Filters implantable into blood vessels; Prostheses, i.e. artificial substitutes or replacements for parts of the body; Appliances for connecting them with the body; Devices providing patency to, or preventing collapsing of, tubular structures of the body, e.g. stents
    • A61F2/02Prostheses implantable into the body
    • A61F2/24Heart valves ; Vascular valves, e.g. venous valves; Heart implants, e.g. passive devices for improving the function of the native valve or the heart muscle; Transmyocardial revascularisation [TMR] devices
    • A61F2/2412Heart valves ; Vascular valves, e.g. venous valves; Heart implants, e.g. passive devices for improving the function of the native valve or the heart muscle; Transmyocardial revascularisation [TMR] devices with soft flexible valve members, e.g. tissue valves shaped like natural valves
    • A61F2/2418Scaffolds therefor, e.g. support stents
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61FFILTERS IMPLANTABLE INTO BLOOD VESSELS; PROSTHESES; DEVICES PROVIDING PATENCY TO, OR PREVENTING COLLAPSING OF, TUBULAR STRUCTURES OF THE BODY, e.g. STENTS; ORTHOPAEDIC, NURSING OR CONTRACEPTIVE DEVICES; FOMENTATION; TREATMENT OR PROTECTION OF EYES OR EARS; BANDAGES, DRESSINGS OR ABSORBENT PADS; FIRST-AID KITS
    • A61F2/00Filters implantable into blood vessels; Prostheses, i.e. artificial substitutes or replacements for parts of the body; Appliances for connecting them with the body; Devices providing patency to, or preventing collapsing of, tubular structures of the body, e.g. stents
    • A61F2/02Prostheses implantable into the body
    • A61F2/24Heart valves ; Vascular valves, e.g. venous valves; Heart implants, e.g. passive devices for improving the function of the native valve or the heart muscle; Transmyocardial revascularisation [TMR] devices
    • A61F2/2427Devices for manipulating or deploying heart valves during implantation
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61FFILTERS IMPLANTABLE INTO BLOOD VESSELS; PROSTHESES; DEVICES PROVIDING PATENCY TO, OR PREVENTING COLLAPSING OF, TUBULAR STRUCTURES OF THE BODY, e.g. STENTS; ORTHOPAEDIC, NURSING OR CONTRACEPTIVE DEVICES; FOMENTATION; TREATMENT OR PROTECTION OF EYES OR EARS; BANDAGES, DRESSINGS OR ABSORBENT PADS; FIRST-AID KITS
    • A61F2/00Filters implantable into blood vessels; Prostheses, i.e. artificial substitutes or replacements for parts of the body; Appliances for connecting them with the body; Devices providing patency to, or preventing collapsing of, tubular structures of the body, e.g. stents
    • A61F2/02Prostheses implantable into the body
    • A61F2/24Heart valves ; Vascular valves, e.g. venous valves; Heart implants, e.g. passive devices for improving the function of the native valve or the heart muscle; Transmyocardial revascularisation [TMR] devices
    • A61F2/2427Devices for manipulating or deploying heart valves during implantation
    • A61F2/2436Deployment by retracting a sheath
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B17/00Surgical instruments, devices or methods, e.g. tourniquets
    • A61B17/22Implements for squeezing-off ulcers or the like on the inside of inner organs of the body; Implements for scraping-out cavities of body organs, e.g. bones; Calculus removers; Calculus smashing apparatus; Apparatus for removing obstructions in blood vessels, not otherwise provided for
    • A61B17/221Gripping devices in the form of loops or baskets for gripping calculi or similar types of obstructions
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61FFILTERS IMPLANTABLE INTO BLOOD VESSELS; PROSTHESES; DEVICES PROVIDING PATENCY TO, OR PREVENTING COLLAPSING OF, TUBULAR STRUCTURES OF THE BODY, e.g. STENTS; ORTHOPAEDIC, NURSING OR CONTRACEPTIVE DEVICES; FOMENTATION; TREATMENT OR PROTECTION OF EYES OR EARS; BANDAGES, DRESSINGS OR ABSORBENT PADS; FIRST-AID KITS
    • A61F2/00Filters implantable into blood vessels; Prostheses, i.e. artificial substitutes or replacements for parts of the body; Appliances for connecting them with the body; Devices providing patency to, or preventing collapsing of, tubular structures of the body, e.g. stents
    • A61F2/95Instruments specially adapted for placement or removal of stents or stent-grafts
    • A61F2002/9522Means for mounting a stent onto the placement instrument
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61FFILTERS IMPLANTABLE INTO BLOOD VESSELS; PROSTHESES; DEVICES PROVIDING PATENCY TO, OR PREVENTING COLLAPSING OF, TUBULAR STRUCTURES OF THE BODY, e.g. STENTS; ORTHOPAEDIC, NURSING OR CONTRACEPTIVE DEVICES; FOMENTATION; TREATMENT OR PROTECTION OF EYES OR EARS; BANDAGES, DRESSINGS OR ABSORBENT PADS; FIRST-AID KITS
    • A61F2220/00Fixations or connections for prostheses classified in groups A61F2/00 - A61F2/26 or A61F2/82 or A61F9/00 or A61F11/00 or subgroups thereof
    • A61F2220/0008Fixation appliances for connecting prostheses to the body
    • A61F2220/0016Fixation appliances for connecting prostheses to the body with sharp anchoring protrusions, e.g. barbs, pins, spikes
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61FFILTERS IMPLANTABLE INTO BLOOD VESSELS; PROSTHESES; DEVICES PROVIDING PATENCY TO, OR PREVENTING COLLAPSING OF, TUBULAR STRUCTURES OF THE BODY, e.g. STENTS; ORTHOPAEDIC, NURSING OR CONTRACEPTIVE DEVICES; FOMENTATION; TREATMENT OR PROTECTION OF EYES OR EARS; BANDAGES, DRESSINGS OR ABSORBENT PADS; FIRST-AID KITS
    • A61F2220/00Fixations or connections for prostheses classified in groups A61F2/00 - A61F2/26 or A61F2/82 or A61F9/00 or A61F11/00 or subgroups thereof
    • A61F2220/0025Connections or couplings between prosthetic parts, e.g. between modular parts; Connecting elements
    • A61F2220/0066Connections or couplings between prosthetic parts, e.g. between modular parts; Connecting elements stapled
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61FFILTERS IMPLANTABLE INTO BLOOD VESSELS; PROSTHESES; DEVICES PROVIDING PATENCY TO, OR PREVENTING COLLAPSING OF, TUBULAR STRUCTURES OF THE BODY, e.g. STENTS; ORTHOPAEDIC, NURSING OR CONTRACEPTIVE DEVICES; FOMENTATION; TREATMENT OR PROTECTION OF EYES OR EARS; BANDAGES, DRESSINGS OR ABSORBENT PADS; FIRST-AID KITS
    • A61F2220/00Fixations or connections for prostheses classified in groups A61F2/00 - A61F2/26 or A61F2/82 or A61F9/00 or A61F11/00 or subgroups thereof
    • A61F2220/0025Connections or couplings between prosthetic parts, e.g. between modular parts; Connecting elements
    • A61F2220/0075Connections or couplings between prosthetic parts, e.g. between modular parts; Connecting elements sutured, ligatured or stitched, retained or tied with a rope, string, thread, wire or cable

Abstract

A prosthetic heart valve (22) configured to be minimally invasive placed in a native aortic valve ring, comprising: a fingertip shell (72) made of nickel-titanium alloy, compressible, self-expanding, having three seizure zones ( 32) U-shaped verticals generally axially oriented, the three seizure zones being positioned at an outlet end of the fin shell and circumferentially around a flow joint, characterized in that the three commissure zones alternate with three leaflet zones (30 ) U-shaped intermediates, the three commissure zones and the three leaflet zones defining a continuous conductor form; three flexible fins (52) fixed to the fin frame, each fin having a vaping edge (102) opposite a free edge and a pair of commissure edges between them, the fins being fixed around the fin frame with an edge of commissure of each fin joining with a seizure edge of an adjacent fin in one of the areas of the commissure of the fin shell; and three U-shaped valve positioners (42) rigidly fixed with respect to the fin shell and arranged circumferentially around the flow axis, each valve positioner having two pins (92) and one apex (90), each apex being located at mid-distance between two of the fin demarchment commissure zones, where each of the U-shaped valve positioners extends radially outward from the commissure areas of the fin shell to provide three points of contact with the surrounding tissue to help stabilize and anchor the prosthetic heart valve inside the native aortic valve ring.

Description

Minimally invasive heart valve with valve positioners.

Field of the Invention The present invention generally relates to medical implants, and more particularly, to minimally invasive compressible / expandable heart valves and to methods for positioning and implanting such valves.

Background of the Invention Prosthetic heart valves are used to replace damaged or diseased heart valves. In vertebrate animals, the heart is a hollow muscular organ that has four pumping chambers: the left and right atria and the left and right ventricles, each with its own unidirectional valve. Natural heart valves are identified as the aortic, mitral (or bicuspid), tricuspid and pulmonary valves. Prosthetic heart valves can be used to replace any of these natural valves although repair or replacement of the aortic or mitral valves is more common because they are located on the left side of the heart where the pressures are the highest.

When the replacement of a heart valve is indicated, the damaged valve is normally cut and replaced either by a mechanical valve, or by a bioprosthetic tissue or valve. Bioprosthetic type valves are often preferred over mechanical valves because they usually do not require long-term treatment with anticoagulants. The most common bioprosthetic valves are made with fully porcine valves (pigs), or with independent fins cut from a bovine pericardium (cow).

Although the so-called non-stent valves are available, which comprise a section of an aortic and valve skin xenograft (for example, pig), some type of artificial fin support is included among the most widely used valves. Such a support is a "support frame," sometimes called a "wireframe structure."

or "stent," which has a plurality (usually three) of large U-shaped leaflets that support the leaflet area of the bioprosthetic tissue fins (ie, a complete valve or three independent fins). The free ends of each of the two contiguous leaflets converge in some asymptotically to form vertical commissures that end at U-shaped points, each being curved in the opposite direction to that of the leaflets, and having a relatively radius smaller. The support frame normally describes a conical tube that with the tips of the commissure at the end of the small diameter. This provides an undulating reference form to which a fixed edge of each fin is attached (by means of components such as a tissue and sutures) very similar to the natural fibrous skeleton in the aortic ring. Therefore, the alternating leaflets and commissures resemble the natural contour of a fin joint. Importantly, the wireframe structure provides continuous support for each fin along the area of the leaflet in order to better simulate the structure of a natural support.

The support framework is typically a non-ferromagnetic material such as ELGILOY (a Co-Cr alloy) that has substantial elasticity. A common method of forming support frames is to bend a metallic wire in a flat (two-dimensional) wavy pattern of the alternating leaflets and commissures and then wind the flat pattern by inserting it into a tube using a cylindrical roller. The free ends of the resulting three-dimensional shape, typically in the asymptotic zone of the leaflets, are then fixed together using a tubular joint that is plastically bent around the ends. See Figures 3 and 4 of US Patent No. 6,296,662 on a support frame that is folded together at a midpoint of the leaflet.

Some valves include polymeric “support frames” rather than metal for various reasons. For example, US Patent No. 5,895,420 discloses a plastic support frame that degrades in the body over time. Despite some favorable properties of the polymeric support frames, for example the ability to conform to the complex shape of the support frame, conventional metal support frames are generally preferred for their elastic properties, and have a proven track record in highly successful heart valves. For example, the CAPENTIER-EDWARDS Swine Heart Valve and the Pericardial Heart Valve available at Edwards Lifesciences LLC both have ELGILOY support frames and have jointly enjoyed a dominant position in the world market since 1976.

Conventional surgery to replace a heart valve involves accessing the heart in the patient's chest cavity through a longitudinal incision in the chest. For example, a middle sternotomy requires cutting through the sternum and forcing the two opposite halves of the rib cage to separate them, to allow access to the thoracic cavity and into the heart. The patient is then placed in cardiopulmonary bypass, which means stopping the heart to allow access to the inner chambers. Such open heart surgery is especially invasive and involves a long and difficult recovery period.

Some attempts have been made to achieve less traumatic placement and implantation of prosthetic heart valves. For example, US Patent No. 4,056,854 of Boretos exposes a radially compressible heart valve attached to a circular spring stent that can be compressed for placement

and expanded to fix it in a valve position. Also, Dobbin Patent No. 4,994,077 discloses a disc-shaped heart valve that is connected to a radially compressible stent for implantation in a minimally invasive manner.

Recently a large amount of research has been conducted to reduce the trauma and risk associated with open heart valve replacement surgery. In particular, the field of minimally invasive surgery (MIS) has emerged strongly since the mid-1990s with devices that are now available to allow valve substitutions without having to open the thoracic cavity. MIS surgery replacing a heart valve still requires diversion, although the removal of the native valve and the implantation of the prosthetic valve are performed through elongated tubes or cannulas, with the help of endoscopes and other visualization techniques .

Some examples of MIS heart valves are shown in Patent No. 5,411,552 to Anderson et al., In US Patent No. 5,980,570 to Simpson, in US Patent No. 5,984,959 to Robertson et al., In the Patent No. 6,425,916 of Garrison et al., and in PCT Publication No. WO 99/334142 of Vesely.

Although these and other devices provide different ways of compressing, positioning and then expanding a "heart valve" itself, none of them gives many structural details of the valve itself. For example, Vesely's publication shows a prior art tissue fin structure in Figure 1, and an expandable inner shell of the invention having stent fasteners in Figures 3A-3C. The fins are "mounted on the stents 22 of the stent in a manner similar to that shown in Figure 1". Similarly, Anderson describes the assembly of a swine valve inside a stent “by means of a number of suitable sutures to form the heart valve prosthesis 9 shown in Figure 2”. Such general exposures suddenly stop at the explanation of how to make a valve in a way that maximizes long-term effectiveness. In particular, the particular means of fixing the fins to the MIS stent are critical to ensure the integrity and durability of the valve once implanted. All prior art MIS valves are inadequate in this regard. In addition, the use of expandable implants or conventional support wireframe structures is difficult in MIS valves due to the need to compress the valve to a placement package of a relatively small diameter, which means material challenges.

Some prior art MIS valves are intended to be used without removing the natural valve fins. Sometimes the natural fins are very calcified and their removal implies a high risk that some plaque particles go into the bloodstream. Therefore, some of the MIS valves are designed to expand outward into the ring and the native fins, and to compress the fins against the ring. The relatively irregular surface of the calcified ring and fins creates sizing problems and can complicate the placement and positioning steps. MIS valves of the prior art are essentially expandable tubular implants improved with a native xenograft valve. The implant methodology is simply the conventional technique of expanding a balloon or pushing a self-expanding version from the end of a catheter. Minimum control over valve placement is provided or considered.

Despite some progress in the design of MIS valves, there is still a need for a MIS valve that is strong and has a more flexible placement and implantation methodology.

A prior art ring aortic annuloplasty is known from US 6,231,602, which comprises a flexible semi-rigid frame.

A prior art stent for holding a cardiac tissue valve is known from WO 96/40008, which comprises at least one commissure support and at least one breast support structure, each support structure being sinus arranged between, but not functionally connected to, an adjacent commissure clamp.

Summary of the Invention The present invention provides improved prosthetic heart valves that can be implanted in a minimally invasive manner, although they also have aspects that make it useful for conventional surgeries. The valves described here provide a highly adaptive and easy-to-use placement option for heart surgeons or cardiologists due to the features that facilitate implantation. The valve is designed to be ejected from a placement tube in an implant area and then expanded and / or placed in contact with the surrounding tissue without additional anchoring structures. In addition, the valve and implant instruments allow repositioning and even compressing the valve again if necessary.

According to a first aspect of the invention a prosthetic heart valve is provided as described in claim 1.

In addition, preferred features are reported in the dependent claims.

Brief Description of the Drawings Figure 1 is a partial view of a generally vertical section of a patient's heart through the left ventricle and associated heart valves, and illustrating the procedure of implanting a prosthetic valve based on a catheter of the present invention; Figure 2A is a view of the vertical section through an aortic ring and an example of a prosthetic heart valve of the present invention implanted therein; Figure 2B is a top plan view of the implanted prosthetic heart valve of Figure 2A; Figures 3A-3C are respectively plan views from above and in plan from below of the prosthetic heart valve of Figure 2A; Figure 4 is a plan view of a prosthetic heart valve support frame of the present invention in a two-dimensional folded part form before conversion into the final three-dimensional form; Figure 5 is a perspective view of the support frame of the prosthetic heart valve of Figure 4 in its final three-dimensional shape with a fin structure and the valve positioners; Figures 5A and 5B are views of a part of the three-dimensional heart valve support frame of Figure 5 showing alternative valve positioner configurations; Figure 6A is an elevation view of a partially mounted prosthetic heart valve as in Figures 3A-3C; Figure 6B is an elevation view of the fully assembled prosthetic heart valve of Figure 6A; Figure 7 is a plan view of an example of a fin used in prosthetic heart valves of the present invention; Figure 8 is a partial sectional view of a commissure zone of the prosthetic heart valve taken along line 8-8 of Figure 3B; Figure 9 is a sectional view through a part of the support frame of the example prosthetic heart valve taken along line 9-9 of Figure 8; Figure 10 is a sectional view through an area of the tip of the corner of the example of a prosthetic heart valve, taken along line 10-10 of Figure 8; Figure 11 is a schematic perspective view of a support frame of a prosthetic heart valve of the present invention being loaded into a positioning catheter; Figure 12 is a perspective view of the support frame after being loaded into a placement catheter; Figures 13A-13B are perspective and elevational views of an example of a compressible / expandable heart valve fastener attached to a prosthetic heart valve of the present invention; Figure 14 is a perspective view of the expulsion of a prosthetic heart valve and holding element as in Figures 13A and 13B from the distal end of a placement catheter; Figure 15 is a plan view from below of an example of a compressible / expandable heart valve clamping element of the present invention; Figure 16 is a plan view of a part with several arms of the clamping element of Figure 15; and Figures 17A-17B are two views of a rigid part of the fastener of Figure 15.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS The present invention provides a minimally invasive valve support frame (MIS), MIS valve, and methods of embodiment and placement described herein and shown in the accompanying drawings.

The invention corresponds mainly to flexible finned heart valves and internal support frames, which are referred to in the prior art as expandable implants or wireframe structures. As mentioned before, the flexible fins can be formed of a biological material (for example, a bovine pericardium) or a synthetic material. In this context a "support frame" for a flexible fin heart valve provides the primary internal structural support of the fins, and substantially resembles the natural fibrous skeleton of the respective valve ring. More specifically, each of the fins has an outer edge that is coupled to a part of the support frame so that its left inner edge is free to move within the area of the valve orifice, thereby providing the opening surfaces and closing her. A biological xenograft valve can be used to provide the flexible fins on the valves of the present invention, although the internal support frame is particularly suitable for receiving individual fins.

The fin frames of the present invention have a continuous undulating shape with three U-shaped leaf regions at the inlet end separated by three vertical commissure zones and generally axially oriented or U-shaped at the outlet end. Around the circumference of the fin shell the shape has an alternative structure of valva-comisura-valva-comisura-valva-comisura, and generally describes a conical surface of revolution with the three commissures at the outlet end of the valve being closer each other than the three leaflets. Some support frames may alternatively describe a tubular surface of revolution around an axis. The leaflet zones and the commissure zones are evenly distributed around a flow axis through the support frame, and therefore the three leaflet zones are separated

120º one from the other, and each of the three commissure zones is separated 120º from the next and 60º from the adjacent leaflet zone.

The term "continuous" to describe the fin shell of the heart leaflet means that a continuous and closed line (for example, a loop) can be drawn following the sequential zones of leaflet and commissure, and "undulating" refers to the serpentine or sinusoidal alternating form of the line. More generally, a fin shell of the undulating heart valve approximates the shape of the natural fibrous tissue around the aortic valve ring so as to resemble that natural support structure for optimal functionality of the prosthetic fins.

The present invention pertains mainly to prosthetic heart valves suitable for minimally invasive placement and implantation. Such minimally invasive valves are capable of being compressed or crushed to a small profile and placed by means of a catheter or cannula (a tube) at the implantation site for distance expansion and anchoring thereto. However, it should be understood that certain aspects of the invention described herein are generally beneficial for prosthetic heart valves, and thus not all claims should be considered as requiring a minimally invasive valve.

Figure 1 depicts a part of a patient's heart with the left ventricle LV, the aortic valve AV, the mitral valve MV, and the ascending aorta AA shown in section. A catheter or placement tube 20 is seen in position just before ejecting and expanding the prosthetic heart valve 22 from a distal end thereof for implantation in the AV aortic valve ring. The fins L of the aortic valve AV may first be removed before implantation of the valve 22, or more preferably the fins L remain in place and are expanded outward and compressed against the light of the ring of the aortic valve AV after expansion from valvule. The distal end of the positioning tube 20 may optionally be stabilized by a balloon 24 (shown superimposed on dotted lines) inflated against the light of the ascending aorta AA, or by other means. The placement tube 20 is preferably inserted into the patient's vasculature using an introducer 26 of a larger diameter through the peripheral vessel such as the femoral artery or the femoral vein. Alternatively, the peripheral vessel may be the internal jugular vein, the subclavian artery, the axillary artery, the abdominal aorta, the descending aorta, or any other appropriate blood vessel. The introducer 26 can be inserted by a surgical cut or percutaneously using the Seldinger technique.

Figures 2A and 2B illustrate the prosthetic heart valve 22 implanted in the AV aortic valve ring. The heart valve 22 includes three leaflets 30 at one end of the inlet (one of which is not visible) and three commissures 32 at one end of the outlet. The direction of BF blood flow is indicated by an arrow in the ascending aorta AA. The natural fins are conveniently compressed against the lumen of the aortic valve ring by the prosthetic heart valve 22, as seen in Figure 2B. The valve 22 is oriented with respect to a flow axis such that the corners 32 are generally aligned with the native corners C, while the leaflets (not shown but intermediate between the corners 32) are generally aligned with the leaflets / fins Natural L. The heart valve 22 makes contact with the light wall of the AV ring of the aortic valve and conveniently maintains its position due to friction between them. In this aspect the heart valve 22 expands from its placement configuration shown in Figure 1 to the expanded configuration in Figures 2A and 2B.

The valve 22 makes contact with the wall of light around the entire periphery of the inlet thereof and in certain areas adjacent to the periphery of the inlet as will be explained later. The periphery of the inlet is defined by the lower ends of the leaflets 30 as well as by the lower ends of the three connectors 40 of the leaflets that extend between and fill the spaces between the leaflets 30. Additionally, the heart valve 22 includes three valve positioners 42, two of which are visible in Figure 2A, which are rigidly fixed with respect to an internal support frame of the valve and are generally located at the end of the valve outlet in the middle of two of the corners 32. With reference to Figure 2B, the valve positioners 42 are uniformly distributed around a central flow axis 44, and when implanted they align with the native fins L. The valve positioners 42 preferably extend so radial further out than the corners 32 and compress the fins L against the sinus cavities formed precisely above the aortic valve ring AV. The coronary ostia CO open from two of the three sinus cavities, as seen in Figure 2A, and the three valve positioners 42 are sized and positioned by the operator to prevent an occlusion flow through the coronary ostia CO. Later, the advantageous structure and function of these positioners 42 will be explained in detail.

Referring now to Figures 3A-3C, the example of prosthetic heart valve 22 will be described more fully. The shape of an internal support frame 50 seen in Figure 5 generally governs the shape of the valve 22. As mentioned, the valve 22 includes the aforementioned leaflets 30 and commissures 32 uniformly distributed around a flow axis 44. The leaflets 30 and the valve connectors 40 define a periphery of the corrugated inlet of the valve 22, while the periphery of the outlet is defined by the three commissures 32 and the three valve positioners 42. The entire internal support frame 50 except for the valve positioners 42 is covered with one or more layers of material, of which the outer layer is typically

a fabric like the one shown (but not numbered). The use of a fabric such as polyethylene terephthalate provides a matrix in which the surrounding tissue can grow to help anchor the valve in place.

Three flexible fins 52 mount on the leaflet 22 in a three-leaf configuration with its free edges 53 arranged to join or fit together in the center of the valve and provide a unidirectional occlusion. An outer edge of each fin 52 is fixed to the valve 22 between two of the commissures 32 and around one of the leaflets 30. An example of structural fixing of the fins 52 to the internal support frame 50 will be described below.

As mentioned, each valve connector 40 extends between two of the leaflets 30. A panel of fabric or other material 54 covers an area between the entrance or lower edge of each valve connector 40 and the corresponding commissures 32. Part of this tissue panel 54 conveniently contacts the light wall of the AV aortic valve ring to help prevent seepage around the valve.

The valve positioners 42 in the example each have an inverted U shape with an apex pointing towards the outlet end of the valve 22 and two pins generally extending towards the inlet end and connecting with the rest of the valve. The term "U-shaped" is intended to cover all configurations that have two pins and an apex between them. Other figurative descriptions such as "V-shaped", "bell-shaped", sinusoidal, arched, or the like are therefore included in the term "U-shaped". However, it has been considered that the valve positioners 42 could take other forms, such as a generally linear one, with a cantilever arm that extends upward from the midpoint of each leaflet 30. In any way, the valve positioners 42 they provide the valve with three points of contact with the surrounding tissue that is midway between the three corners 32 to help stabilize and anchor the valve in its implant position. In addition, the valve positioners 42 conveniently perform the function of compressing the native fins L out against the sinus cavities, at least in the procedures in which the fins L have not been removed.

The L fins on a diseased valve may be less than flexible, and they may certainly be very calcified. It has often been considered preferable to avoid the removal of the L fins so as not to have to disturb the calcification or other stenotic material that has formed around the fins. Therefore, the present invention desirably provides a structure that compresses the native leaves L outwardly against the sinus cavities of the aortic wall and keeps the fins in that position to prevent flutter and potential interference with blood flow to through the prosthetic valve. It is believed that the inverted U-shape of the valve positioners 42 provide an effective structure for anchoring the valve in the AV aortic valve ring and also control,

or circumscribe, if desired, the obsolete native fins L. At the same time, the valve positioners 42 are relatively minimal in the total area to avoid undue interference with the blood reflux on the side of the outflow of each of fins 52, or towards coronary ostia CO. Therefore, the valve positioners 42 are desirably defined by relatively thin members, as shown, opposite to the walls or panels, or the like. Several valve 42 positioners are possible per valve leaf 30, although the total solid volume occupied by the positioners should be kept to a minimum in order to minimize the risk of occluding the coronary ostia CO.

The axial height of the valve positioners 42 relative to the corners 32 is best seen in Figure 2A (and in Figure 6B). Preferably, the corners 32 are slightly higher than the valve positioners 42, although such an arrangement is not considered mandatory. The main consideration on the size of the valve positioners 42 is to avoid occlusion of the coronary ostia CO. Therefore, as seen in Figure 2A, the valve positioners 42 make contact with the light wall of the surrounding aortic valve just below the coronary ostia CO. Of course, the anatomy of each patient differs slightly from that of the next, and the exact position of the coronary ostia CO cannot be predicted with absolute certainty. In addition, the final position of the valve positioners 42 depends on the skill of the heart surgeon or cardiologist. However, in the ideal situation, the valve positioners 42 are located just below and aligned circumferentially with the coronary ostia CO as seen in Figures 2A and 2B.

Figures 2B and 3B-3C illustrate the relative outward radial position of the valve positioners 42 with respect to the corners 32 between them, and with respect to the valve connectors 40. As seen in the isolated view of the frame of support 50 of the heart valve in Figure 5, the valve positioners 42 are angled or flared out from the rest of the support frame. This outward camping helps ensure good contact between the apex of the valve positioners 42 and the surrounding walls of the cavities of the AV aortic valve sinus. In this regard the outer configuration of the heart valve 22 is designed to maximize contact with the wall of the lumen of the AV aortic valve in the ring and for a short distance in each sinus cavity. This extensive surface contact between the prosthetic valve 22, and the surrounding tissue can avoid the need for sutures, staples, sharp harpoon tips or other such an anchor structure, although such a structure could be used in connection with the leaflet. The valve 22 is simply ejected from the end of the positioning tube 20 (Figure 1) expanded with or without the help of a balloon, and held in position by the friction contact between the periphery of the inlet with the ring, and between the positioners of leaflet 42 and sinus cavities (or the native fins involved).

Each valve positioner 42 further includes at least one antimigration member 56 rigidly attached thereto and designed to aid the anchoring of the support frame 50 to the surrounding tissue. In the illustrated embodiment the antimigration members 56 preferably each includes an elongated section 58 that ends in an elongated and rounded head 60, the configuration resembling in some way a spoon. The antimigration member 56 conveniently protrudes out of the plane defined by the associated valve positioner 42, and can generally extend axially in the inlet direction from its apex, as seen in Figure 3A. When the valve 22 is implanted, the antimigration members 56 are designed to make contact and somehow get caught in the native fins. Therefore, the antimigration members 56 act as a rounded harpoon tip in order to keep the valve 22 in its implant position. The member 56 can also help prevent the fluttering of the native fins in the turbulent blood flow. Numerous other configurations have been considered, the general idea being that the antimigration member 56 improves the ability of the associated valve positioner 42 to anchor in the surrounding tissue. In this regard, the term "antimigration member" is intended to include any structure that improves such an anchor, which includes blunt and sharp structures (ie, harpoon tips).

Various procedures and apparatus for converting a two-dimensional folded piece, such as that shown in Figure 4, into the three-dimensional form of Figure 5 in the Serial Patent Application No. 10 / 251,651, presented in Figure 4, are described in more detail. September 20, 2002 of the US in process, and entitled Continuous support frame of heart valve and manufacturing method. In summary, the process involves folding the two-dimensional folded piece 70 around a cylindrical or conical mandrel and altering the material to retain its three-dimensional shape. For example, various nickel-titanium (Nitinol) alloys can be easily bent around a mandrel and then fixed in that way by heat treatments.

In an embodiment of the present invention, the internal support frame 50 of the valve 22 is made of a material that is very flexible to allow maximum relative movement between the leaflets and the corners of the valve, and in some cases allow contraction in a small profile diameter for minimally invasive placement at an implantation site. At the same time, the support frame must have a minimum amount of stiffness to provide the desired fin support. Therefore, there is a balance obtained between the required flexibility and stiffness.

The material for the internal support frame is conveniently "elastic", which means that it has the ability to bounce from an imposed deformation. Various NITINOL alloys are especially suitable for making the internal support framework of the present invention since in certain circumstances they are considered to be "super elastic". Among other materials that can be used are ELGILOY, titanium, stainless steel, regular polymers, and similar media. The latter materials do not show superelasticity but are still elastic. Other materials may fit within this definition but must be suitable for long-term implantation in the body.

The term "superelastic" (sometimes "pseudo elastic") refers to the property of some materials to withstand extreme stresses (up to 8%) without reaching their maximum collapse stress limit. Some so-called shape memory alloys (SMAs) are known to show a superelastic phenomenon or a behavior similar to that of rubber in which a tension obtained beyond the elastic limit of the SMA material during loading is recovered during discharge. This superelastic phenomenon occurs when the load is applied to an austenitic SMA article that first deforms elastically to the elastic limit of the SMA material (sometimes referred to as the critical stress). After the subsequent imposition of load the SMA material begins to transform into martensite with provoked tension or "SIM". This transformation takes place at an essentially constant tension, to the point where the SMA material is completely transformed into martensite. When the tension is removed, the SMA material will return to austenite and the item will return to its preprogrammed or memorized form.

The support frame 50 is conveniently made of a material that shows a hysteresis in the elastic and / or superelastic zone. The "hysteresis" indicates that when the material is deformed beyond the "memory state" (defined as a non-forced geometry) it produces a stress-strain curve that is different and larger than the stress-strain curve produced when the material tries to return to his memory state. An example of a material that shows such hysteresis is NITINOL. The presence of this hysteresis implies that it requires a greater force to move the material from its memory state than that which the material exerts when it returns to its memory state.

When NITINOL is used, the shape is fixed at a particular temperature for a set period of time to ensure certain properties in the material. That is, the martensitic transition temperature is conveniently lower than the ambient temperature and the austenitic transition temperature is conveniently lower than the body temperature. For example, the temperature below which the material is in the form of martensite is around 0º-5º C, while the temperature above which the material is in the form of austenite is around 20º-25º C When the shape has been fixed to the material in this way, the heart valve 22 can be cooled, for example in an ice bath, just before the implant

change the crystalline structure of the support frame 50 to martensite and create high flexibility to allow compaction in a placement profile with a small diameter. After implantation and expansion the temperature rises from the body temperature above the austenitic transition temperature and thus the support frame 50 possesses the desired degree of rigidity to adequately support the fins.

The support frame 50 (and the folded piece 70) includes a fin shell 72 defined by three intermediate leaf regions 74 of the three commissure zones 76. In Figure 4 the fin frame 72 on the folded piece 70 shows a three-leaf clover shape, while in Figure 5 the fin frame 72 has a continuous and undulating shape as described above. In Figure 4, a second three-leaf clover shape consisting of the three connectors 40 and the three valve positioners 42 can be seen. When they are bent in the three-dimensional configuration of Figure 5, two undulating continuous shapes can be seen oriented forming 60 ° between yes with respect to the flow axis. Each valve connector 40 includes an apex 90 and a pair of pins 92 that are rigidly fixed to the fin frame 72 at the junction points 94. In the preferred and illustrated embodiment, the attachment points 84 and 94 are coincident.

Figures 5A and 5B show alternative leaflet positioner configurations of the three-dimensional heart valve support frame 50 of Figure 5. As mentioned above, the antimigration members facilitate the anchoring of the support frame 50 to the surrounding anatomy, and prevent axial and rotational movement of the valve 22. The antimigration members 56 shown in Figure 5 generally project axially in the inlet direction from the apex 90 of each valve positioner 42. In Figure 5A a second member antimigration 57 generally protrudes axially in the exit direction from the apex 90 of each valve positioner 42. In Figure 5B there are several antimigration members 56 which generally extend axially in the inlet direction. Various combinations, placements and orientations of these examples have been considered, and the examples should not be considered as limiting.

Figure 6A shows the valve 22 almost completely assembled but without the aforementioned fabric covers 54 seen in the fully assembled valve of Figure 6B. The covers 54 help prevent blood leakage around the implanted valve 22, and specifically in the areas between each pair of leaflets

30

Figure 7 illustrates a plan view of an example of fin 52. The free edge 50 is shown as linear, although it can also be arched, trapezoidal or of any other configuration. Each fin includes a pair of opposite rectangular tabs 100 at one or the other end of the free edge 53. An arched leaf edge 102 extends between the tabs 100 and opposite the free edge 53. The tabs 100 and the arched leaf edge 102 are fixed to the valve 22, and specifically along the contours of the fin shell 72 seen in Figure 5.

Figure 8 is a view of an enlarged section of one of the corners 32 of the valve 22 taken along line 8-8 of Figure 3B and showing its internal structure. The zone 76 of the corner of the fin frame 72 is tapered downwards in the direction of the exit towards a closed tip 104. The fixing widenings 106 are formed adjacent to the tip 104 and conveniently include a plurality of mounting holes 108 sized to allow sutures to pass through them. Adjoining fins 52 are joined at the commissure zones 76 and their tongues 100 are deployed separating from one another on the outside of the widenings 106.

As seen in Figure 9, the edge 102 of the leaflet of each fin 52 is fixed with the sutures 110 to a widening of fabric 112 of a tubular textile fabric cover 114 around the fin shell 72. This configuration causes the tensile forces communicated by the fins 52 to be transferred as much as possible to the frame 72 rather than being mainly supported by the fixing sutures 110.

Figure 10 shows the fixing structure at the tip 104 of the commissure, and specifically illustrates the sutures 120 that cross the textile fabric cover 114 through the mounting holes 108 and through the tabs 100 of the folded flap. A second suture 122 passes through the widening of fabric 112, of the tongue 100 of the flap, and of the fabric covers 54 (also seen in Figure 6B). Because each of the fins 52 includes the tongue 100 extending outwardly from the fin shell 72, the large forces that are seen with the closure of the valve are likely to pull less of the sutures 120 through the tongues. . That is, the structure shown in Figure 10 causes the tensile forces communicated by the fins 52 to be transferred as much as possible from the sutures 120, 122 to the frame 72, thereby helping to prevent breakage of the flexible fins and make make valve 22 more resistant.

Figures 11 and 12 schematically illustrate a technique for loading a prosthetic heart valve of the present invention into a placement tube. For the benefit of clarity, only the support frame 50 is shown being loaded in the positioning tube 20. A plurality of sutures or other such flexible members or filaments 130 are shown linked through each of the commissure zones 76 of the support frame

50. These filaments 130 extend at the distal end of the placement tube 20 and through their light to a proximal end (not shown) where they are connected to a tensioning device. In actual use the filaments 130 would pass through the corners 32 of the valve 22 avoiding the flexible fins. A charging adapter 132

it is coupled to the distal end of the placement tube 20. The adapter 132 includes a funnel-shaped opening 134. The tension in the filaments 130 pulls the commissures 32 of the valve into the funnel-shaped opening 134 that gradually compresses the valve to a diameter smaller than the light of the placement tube

20. Once the valve 22 is fully positioned within the placement tube 20, as seen in Figure 12, the filaments 130 and the adapter 132 are removed.

Figures 13-17 illustrate a minimally invasive clamping element for use with the prosthetic heart valves of the present invention. Figures 13A and 13B show the fixing of the clamping element 150 to the heart valve 22 as described above. The support 150 includes a flexible part 152 with several arms and a rigid part 154 (seen in Figures 17A-17B). The flexible part 152 includes a plurality, at least three, but preferably there are six flexible members or arms 156 extending outwardly from a central circular disk 158. Each of the arms 156 ends at a rounded end having an opening of fixation 160. The arms 156 are uniformly distributed around the circumference of the circular disk 15, and are arranged to be fixed to each of the ends of the corners 32 and to the valve positioners 42 of the valve 22. For this purpose the releasable sutures 162 or other similar fixing structure.

Figure 14 shows the support 150 and the valve 22 mounted leaving the distal end of the positioning tube 20. Prior to this stage the flexible members or arms 156 are generally oriented axially within the tube 20 with the valve 22 also compressed and having its outlet tips coupled to the distal ends of the arms 156. The arms 156 of the clamping element 150 are flexible enough to be compressed to the small profile required for placement by means of the positioning tube 20. In this respect the flexible part 152 It is conveniently made of Nitinol. A handle 170, which can be flexible or rigid, is fixed to the clamping element 150 for handling. Moving the handle 170 in a distal direction with respect to the tube 20 therefore expels the valve / support combination and the elasticity of the valve 22 and of the clamping arms 156 causes them to jump out. It is understood that other designs of the fastener 150 may be used such as replacing the spring-type arms 156 with rigid members provided with hinges and deflected by means of springs.

Figures 15-17 illustrate details of examples of the flexible part 152 and the rigid part 154. In a relaxed configuration the flexible part 152 is flat and can be cut from a Nitinol sheet. The rigid part 154 includes a proximal face 180 that is sized approximately the same as the circular disk 158, and small enough to fit with the positioning tube 20. A perforated central hole 182 opens in the proximal face to receive the handle 170. Figure 15 illustrates several sutures 162 perforated through the clamping element 150 and used to couple said clamping element to the six protruding tips of the prosthetic heart valve 22. Conveniently, these sutures 162 are anchored with respect to the clamping element and each one passes over a cutting guide in the clamping element so that the suture can be cut along its midpoint giving rise to two free ends that can be removed from the valve.

The clamping element 150 is sufficiently flexible to be compressed to a small profile and passed through the positioning tube 20. At the same time, the flexible part 152 and the various flexible arms 156 have a sufficient degree of torsional strength to allow have the operator turn valve 22 during the implant procedure. In addition, the arms 156 have a shape to make contact with the distal mouth of the positioning tube 20 when the assembly is pulled towards the tube, which, due to its radial stiffness, causes the arms to bend back to their axial orientation. inside the tube Since the distal ends of the arms are coupled to at least three of the outlet tips of the prosthetic heart valve 22, the valve narrows accordingly. The narrowing of the valve 22 after having been fully ejected from the end of the placement tube and expanded allows repositioning of the valve 22. That is, the valve positioners 42 are designed to make contact with the sinus cavities or the aortic wall. after the valve 22 has been expanded, and the shrinkage / narrowing option provided by the support 150 may be necessary to de-apply the leaflet positioners of the surrounding tissue to reposition or reorient the valve. In addition, the valve 22 may be fully compressed and retracted into the placement tube to allow removal in case the surgeon or cardiologist considers that for some reason the valve is not suitable.

Method of use Prior to implantation, the heart surgeon or cardiologist measures the AV aortic valve ring using appropriate meters, minimally invasive or not as appropriate, several of which are available and will not be described here anymore. The correctly sized valve is then selected and compressed by inserting it into the catheter or placement tube 20, as with the use of the charging adapter 132 having the funnel-shaped opening 134, as seen in Figure 11. To facilitate the loading step, the support frame 50 of the valve 20 must be able to withstand high voltages without failure. One method is to form the support frame 50 from a material that has super elastic properties, for example a Nitinol that has a martensitic transition temperature of less than about 5 ° C and that can be submerged in an ice bath to change its structure crystalline to martensite, which is a superelastic phase. Once loaded into the positioning tube 20, the support frame 50 will not return to its original shape after a temperature rise, and thus will not exert an unreasonable force on the tube. The heart valve 22 can be loaded around

an inflation balloon, but in order to achieve a small profile the balloon is used after expulsion of the valve from the tube at the implantation site.

Referring again to Figure 1, the positioning tube 20 is seen in position just before carrying out the expulsion and expansion of the prosthetic heart valve 22 from a distal end thereof for implantation in the valve ring. AV aortic The distal end of the positioning tube 20 may optionally be stabilized by a balloon 24 (shown superimposed on dotted lines) inflated against the light of the ascending aorta AA, or by other means. The placement tube 20 is preferably inserted into the patient's vasculature using a larger diameter introducer 26 through a peripheral vessel such as the femoral artery or femoral vein. Alternatively, the peripheral vessel may be the internal jugular vein, the subclavian artery, the axillary artery, the abdominal aorta, the descending aorta, or any other appropriate blood vessel. The introducer 26 can be inserted by a surgical cut or percutaneously using the Seldinger technique.

The prosthetic heart valve 22 is ejected from the positioning tube 20 by a relative movement between them, that is by pushing the valve of the tube or folding the tube from around the valve. The valve 22 conveniently expands to make contact with the surrounding wall of the light, but can also be aided by an inflatable balloon or by any other physical expander.

With reference to Figures 2A and 2B, the valve positioners 42 help guide the prosthetic heart valve 22 to its position in the AV aortic valve ring. As mentioned before, the valve positioners 42 conveniently widen outward from the rest of the valve structure and are thus configured to make contact with the AV aortic valve sinuses while the leaflets 30 are sized to fit on the ring. According to an implant method, the surgeon or cardiologist ejects the heart valve 22 downwards (i.e., toward the left ventricle) from its optimal implant position, and then axially moves the valve up to the desired position. In other words, the heart valve 22 expands in a place that is inferior to a final implant position so that the valve positioners 42 make contact with the surrounding aortic ring, and the valve is then repositioned by moving it in one direction. up to the implant position. As the valve 22 rises, the valve positioners 42 jump out into the three sinuses of the valve and help to orient the valve by a turn. That is, the breasts channel the valve positioners 42 and correct any lack of rotation alignment. Finally, the valve 22 is implanted with the valve positioners 42 in the sinus cavities (preferably below the coronary ostia CO) and the leaflets 30 and the valve connectors 40 that form a continuous wavy contact wall with the ring or root of the AV aortic valve.

As mentioned, a physical expander (for example, a balloon) can be used to radially expand outwardly the valve 22 (including the internal support frame) beyond its self-expanding diameter so that it is firmly anchored in position. A prosthetic valve with hysteresis that remains at a reduced diameter (first or narrowed) will exert a radial force outward that is smaller than that which will resist a radial force inward. Therefore, if it is deployed "in situ", the device is not expected to exert sufficient force on the vessel wall to expand it to the desired diameter. However, if the expansion is helped by means of a balloon or other physical expander, the hysteresis of the material will allow it to better retain its diameter once the diameter has been achieved. This is different for a self-expanding device that depends solely on the radial force out of the device to achieve its desired diameter. It is also different for expanded devices that rely on a balloon to plastically deform the device to its desired diameter. Although it was possible that a balloon or other physical expander could be used in a self-expanding device of a material that does not show hysteresis, the advantages would not be so great.

It will be appreciated that the invention has been described with reference to certain examples or preferred embodiments as shown in the drawings. Additions, deletions, changes and alterations can be made in the embodiments and examples described above, and it is intended that such additions, deletions, changes and alterations be included within the scope of the following claims.

Claims (14)

  1.  CLAIMS
    1. A prosthetic heart valve (22) configured to be minimally invasively placed in a native aortic valve ring, comprising:
    a finely compressible, self-expanding nickel-titanium alloy shell (72) having three vertical U-shaped commissure zones (32) generally axially oriented, the three commissure zones being positioned at one end of the frame fin and circumferentially around a flow axis, characterized in that the three commissure zones alternate with three intermediate U-shaped valve zones (30), the three commissure zones and the three valve zones defining a continuous undulating shape ; three flexible fins (52) fixed to the fin frame, each fin having an arched leaf edge (102) opposite a free edge and a pair of commissure edges between them, the fins being fixed around the fin frame with a edge of commissure of each fin joining with a corner of commissure of an adjacent fin in one of the areas of the commissure of the fin frame; and three U-shaped valve positioners (42) rigidly fixed with respect to the fin shell and arranged circumferentially around the flow axis, each valve positioner having two pins
    (92) and an apex (90), each apex being located halfway between two of the commissure areas of the fin shell, where each of the U-shaped valve positioners extends radially outward beyond the commissure zones of the fin shell to provide three points of contact with the surrounding tissue to help stabilize and anchor the prosthetic heart valve within the native aortic valve ring.
  2. 2.
    The prosthetic heart valve of claim 1, wherein the fin shell (72) and the valve positioners (42) are integrally formed as a single piece.
  3. 3.
      The prosthetic heart valve of claim 1, wherein the flexible fins (52) are formed of pericardium.
  4. Four.
    The prosthetic heart valve of claim 1, wherein a biological xenograft provides the flexible fins.
  5. 5.
     The prosthetic heart valve of claim 1, wherein the fin shell (72) and the valve positioners (42) are made of Nitinol.
  6. 6.
    The prosthetic heart valve of claim 5, wherein the Nitinol has a martensitic transition temperature of less than about 5 ° C and an austenitic transition temperature of more than about 20 ° C.
  7. 7.
    The prosthetic heart valve of claim 1, wherein the apex of each valve positioner (42) points towards an outlet end of the fin shell (72) and the two pins (92) of each valve positioner point towards one inlet end of the fin shell.
  8. 8.
     The prosthetic heart valve of claim 7, further including an antimigration member (56) rigidly fixed to each valve positioner (42) and projecting therefrom.
  9. 9.
     The prosthetic heart valve of claim 1, further comprising a textile fabric (114) that covers a substantial length of the fin shell.
  10. 10.
     The prosthetic heart valve of claim 1, wherein the arcuate valve edges (102) of the fins (52) are attached to the valve areas (30) of the fin shell (72).
  11. eleven.
     The prosthetic heart valve of claim 1, wherein each of the three flexible fins (52) further comprises a pair of opposite rectangular tabs (100) disposed at either end of the free edges.
  12. 12.
     The prosthetic heart valve of claim 1, wherein the sutures (120) pass through the rectangular tabs and mounting holes (108) in the fin shell (72).
  13. 13.
     The prosthetic heart valve of claim 1, wherein the flexible fins (52) are formed of bovine pericardium.
  14. 14.
     The prosthetic heart valve of claim 1, wherein the prosthetic heart valve can be compressed within a profile suitable for minimally invasive placement through a catheter at an implantation site.
ES10164361T 2003-03-18 2004-03-17 Minimally invasive heart valve with valve positioners Active ES2402881T3 (en)

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US10/390,951 US7399315B2 (en) 2003-03-18 2003-03-18 Minimally-invasive heart valve with cusp positioners

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US20080269878A1 (en) 2008-10-30

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